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Film Will Document Clarkson/Akwesasne Biodiesel Project

[A photograph is available for media use at:]

Clarkson students completed a feasibility study last fall and worked with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to design a biodiesel production system that will turn used vegetable oil, which the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino currently pays to dispose of, into alternative fuel. ewb

The biodiesel will be used to operate the SRMT's solid waste facility generators and maintenance vehicles. "We incorporated the heating value of both petroleum fuel and biodiesel to determine how much fuel will be required each month," remarked EWB-USA student chapter president Samuel M. Gorton. "Assuming 95% efficiency from the casino's used cooking oil, the biodiesel plant we are designing will produce more than enough fuel to meet the waste facility's needs."

"We plan to use 100% biodiesel (B100) fuel in the warmer months, however, since diesel truck manufacturers recommend using only 20% biodiesel (B20) in cold weather, the waste facility will switch to a 20/80 fuel combination during the winter," remarked Laura J. Weber, Solid Waste Program Director with the SRMT Environmental Division. Weber, who is coordinating the project for the tribe, is a Native American. She is a graduate of Clarkson's School of Engineering.

The 21 members of Clarkson's EWB-USA student chapter will work together with tribal members to construct the biodiesel production system, test its operation, and instruct the tribe on appropriate operation and maintenance. Student chapter members are: Samuel M. Gorton (President), Christopher L. Wood (Vice President), Margot L. Epstein (Secretary), Ann M. Colt (Treasurer), Jason A. Kenyon, Jared P. Moore, Alison E. Rielly, Michael J. Rockefeller, Brent W. Pomeroy, Victoria H. Boyd, Jessica R. Dzara, Christopher P. Wells, Robert C. Allen, Michael A. Jahne, Andrew W. Vackel, Hunter K. Preston, Melissa S. Kipp, Ryan M. Franz, Leonard S. Brown, Christopher J. Knox, and Keith D. Savino.

Visit SRMT's Environmental Division Web site to view additional photographs of the biodiesel project at:

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of Clarkson University's Student Chapter of Engineers Without Borders analyze used vegetable oil from the restaurants at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. Clarkson Professor Amy K. Zander (Standing right) is the chapter's advisor. Laura J. Weber, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Solid Waste Program Director (Standing left), is coordinating the tribe project. The students are working with the SRMT to develop a biodiesel processing plant to convert the used cooking oil into alternative fuel. The plant will produce biodiesel to operate the generators and waste collection vehicles at the reservation's solid waste facility.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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